Bicycle enthusiasts are common throughout Los Angeles and the entire region, and it is the duty of motorists everywhere be on the lookout for them and take precautions to avoid collisions. Unfortunately, it is all too common for those driving cars and trucks to neglect this responsibility, resulting in accidents which can permanently harm and even kill those on bicycles. According to data from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 3% of traffic fatalities in Los Angeles were suffered by bicyclists, a significant jump when compared to a rate of just 1.7% nationally. In 2012, California had 124 pedacyclist fatalities, many of which were the result of avoidable negligence on the part of others with whom the victims shared the road.
California law does require motorists to take care to prevent collisions of this type, but sadly a startling number of often avoidable incidents occur each and every year. Cyclists who are seriously harmed by the negligence of others on the road owe it to themselves and their families to enlist the help of a dedicated bicycle accident lawyer. Attorney Sean Salamati is ready, willing and able to aggressively pursue their rights and seek accountability from those responsible.
Legislative action aimed at protecting cyclists
In recognition of the serious problem presented by bicyclist injuries and deaths, in 2014 California Governor Jerry Brown signed the “Three Feet for Safety Act” into state law. The legislation mandates that drivers passing bicycle riders from behind maintain a distance of three feet between their vehicles and the cyclist. Previously, motorists were told to maintain a “safe distance” from cyclists while passing, but this law was designed to specify the precise distance necessary to reduce accidents. 21 other states have similar legislation on the books, but it remains unclear whether or not California’s law will have the intended effect going forward.
Common types and causes of bicycle accidents
The most common type of bicycle accident is that in which a driver simply does not pay sufficient attention to his or her surroundings, ultimately coming into contact with a cyclist. However, this is only one of a series of possible scenarios capable of causing debilitating injury or death.
Other sorts of bicycle accidents which are all too common include:
- Those caused by street defects resulting from improper maintenance by a governmental body
- Those resulting from debris that was negligently placed or allowed to remain in the roadway
- Those caused by the negligence of municipal bus drivers, trains or police officers
- Those stemming from the negligence of another cyclist
- Collisions between cyclist and a car door which was negligently opened into their path
- Crashes caused by a dog chasing a cyclist
Every type of bicycle crash involves a unique set of circumstances, and it is vital to secure the help of an attorney skilled in establishing the elements of negligence. Succeeding in holding certain types of defendants accountable, especially governmental bodies, can be a significant challenge marked by procedural hurdles and red tape. Attorney Sean Salamati stands prepared to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice for those injured in bicycle accidents and to fight for maximum compensation.
Typical bicycle accident injuries
Injuries common to bike accidents have the potential to change victims’ lives permanently. Serious head and neck injuries, spinal cord damage, nerve damage, broken bones and lasting disfigurement are just some categories of life-altering damage suffered each year by accident victims.
The steps taken in the immediate aftermath of a bicycle crash can greatly influence your ability to obtain the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. An experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer is often your best ally when it comes to marshaling critical evidence and crafting winning arguments in settlement negotiations or at trial, should that prove necessary.
Aggressive advocacy for bicycle accident victims
Make no mistake, those injured in bicycle accidents regularly face an uphill battle marked by a painful recovery process, lengthy medical treatments and mounting expenses. Bicycle collisions causing death can leave entire families without their primary means of financial support. Fortunately, the law does offer victims and families the option of seeking monetary recovery for losses sustained.
Bike accident plaintiffs may be entitled to payments for:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of familial relationships
- Funeral expenses
Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer
As is the case in all personal injury matters, strict time limits in the form of a statute of limitations set a deadline before which plaintiffs must file suit. The sooner an injury victim contacts a bicycle accident attorney in California, the better the chances for full and fair financial recovery. Attorney Sean Salamati urges victims to contact his law offices as soon as possible, so that he can best assist injured parties in getting the treatment they need and the justice they deserve.
If you or a loved one has sustained serious harm in a bicycle accident, or a family member has been killed in such a crash, we invite you to contact our office by calling 800-957-9898. We offer no-cost initial consultations to review the facts of your case and to explain all available avenues of legal recourse.